The humanitarian situation in Ukraine remains unacceptable, witness reports of the UN human rights monitoring mission in this country, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.
“Despite the September ceasefire, according to media reports and human rights activists’ data, the Ukrainian military used cluster munitions. There were also selective attacks and, as a consequence, new civilian casualties,” the diplomat said. He noted that “such key issues as torture, the absence of law and order, the situation with internally displaced persons, infringement of media freedom remained unresolved.”
“International human rights organizations, including the Council of Europe’s International Advisory Panel, point to ‘a widespread feeling of impunity” in Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies,” Dolgov said.
“According to the estimates of the humanitarian and human rights organizations, as of autumn 2015, more than 5 million people in eastern Ukraine were in need of help, 3 million of them were assigned the category of the most vulnerable persons,” he went on to say. “We know that 2,9 million residents in the east of the country still lack access to good quality healthcare, housing, social services and benefits and government compensation mechanisms.”
“All this is primarily the consequence of rigid rules of crossing the line of contact imposed by the Ukrainian authorities, which also hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine,” the diplomat said. “The number of internally displaced persons, according to the UN Refugee Agency, is estimated at 1,505 million,” Dolgov said.
According to him, at least 160 gross violations of the right to freedom of expression and media activities by the Ukrainian authorities were registered in 2014 and 2015. “According to the estimates of the UN high commissioner for human rights, this is largely the result of restrictions against the media and the expansion of the list of journalists denied entry to the country,” Dolgov said. He recalled that in April Ukraine had banned all Russian movies made after January 2014 and all films that create a positive image of the Russian military made after 1991.